Definition of theorem in US English:



Mathematics Physics
  • 1A general proposition not self-evident but proved by a chain of reasoning; a truth established by means of accepted truths.

    • ‘Moore proceeded to prove fifty-two theorems from this set of five assumptions.’
    • ‘He proved a major theorem concerning the measure-preserving property of Hamiltonian dynamics.’
    • ‘That one could know how to prove theorems of elementary geometry without knowing how much seven times nine was seemed more than slightly strange.’
    • ‘Nash and I proved the same theorem, or, rather, two theorems very close to each other.’
    • ‘The activity of proving things about space-time is the same kind of activity as proving theorems about real numbers.’
    • ‘In every one of these works Moore clearly stated undefined terms and axioms, then methodically proved theorems based on them.’
    • ‘Euclid's Elements is remarkable for the clarity with which the theorems are stated and proved.’
    • ‘There is a famous theorem in the field of mathematics known as graph theory.’
    • ‘Ideally the definitions would generate all the concepts from clear and distinct ideas, and the proofs would generate all the theorems from self-evident truths.’
    • ‘There are many reasons why certain theorems are not named after their discoverer but after a later rediscoverer.’
    • ‘In 1964 John Bell, an Irish theoretical physicist, published a theorem that seemed to prove the argument for non-locality.’
    • ‘And quite frequently I state a number of definitions and ask students to formulate some theorems using them.’
    • ‘In order to prove the theorem, Wiles had to draw on and extend several ideas at the core of modern mathematics.’
    • ‘There is a theorem proved by Kurt Godel in 1931, which is the Incompleteness Theorem for mathematics.’
    • ‘In 1976, Kenneth Appel and Wolfgang Haken finally managed to prove the theorem for a second time.’
    • ‘This theorem was also proved by Felix Bernstein and independently by E Schröder.’
    • ‘Rather than being remembered as the first woman this or that, I would prefer to be remembered, as a mathematician should, simply for the theorems I have proved and the problems I have solved.’
    • ‘In modern Fourier analysis, theorems are usually less important than the techniques developed to prove them.’
    • ‘Yet, as we strive to advance frontiers and prove new theorems, we make intuitive leaps that require substantial effort to be transformed into complete, precise proofs.’
    • ‘The movie tosses mathematical theories and theorems in the audience's direction, but explains them simply and lucidly; no one is going to become lost or bored.’
    • ‘Moore suggested that they be given some theorems to prove.’
    • ‘He introduced students to the main ideas of the subject by means of illuminating examples and by giving proofs of important special cases of more general theorems.’
    • ‘Certainly the theorems which Galileo had proved on the centres of gravity of solids, and left in Rome, were discussed in this correspondence.’
    • ‘I also read about a new play that explored mathematical theorems.’
    proposition, hypothesis, postulate, thesis, assumption, deduction, statement
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A rule in algebra or other branches of mathematics expressed by symbols or formulae.
      • ‘We learn how the dynamics of addition and subtraction are linked to multiplication and division, and eventually to theorems of algebra.’
      • ‘But why would you pass up free education that could take you places somewhere someday, even though we will never use the algebra theorems ever?’
      • ‘He also used letters to replace numbers and was able to state general algebraic theorems but this early use of algebraic notation was not used by subsequent writers.’


Mid 16th century: from French théorème, or via late Latin from Greek theōrēma ‘speculation, proposition’, from theōrein ‘look at’, from theōros ‘spectator’.